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October 18, 2022
What do you like most about Christmas? Seeing familiar faces, or getting away from it all? Maybe your family tradition doesn’t include Christmas. Hanukkah takes place from 18 to 26 December, while in Iceland they don’t have just one Santa Claus, they have 13 of them. That’s one a day for the fortnight leading up to Christmas, each mini–Santa responsible for providing a small gift for a child.
Of course most Winter celebrations have been disrupted for a couple of years. Maybe you’re wondering how to approach the office party after a long gap. Or planning a family reunion.
Maybe you just want to enjoy a traditional British Panto, or an Alpine–style Christmas Market. Is your ideal Christmas lush and retro or sleek and minimal?
There are lots of ways to prepare for Christmas, some more quirky than others. Austria is famous for Krampusnacht in early December, when people dress up as the pre–Christian personification of Winter (think goat horns and masks). The church tried to ban Krampus, but he still kicks off the season like a bison on two legs. Although he can be placated with schnapps.
Here in the UK there’s a tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas, and the West End theatre has obliged by bringing back “The Woman in Black,” a popular romp through baleful marshlands and family secrets.
Christmas in London is unforgettable. Whether you want a cosy, old fashioned Victorian affair or something more minimal, there’s a London hotel booking to suit you. Enough good cheer to last well into 2023.
Christmas Getaways & Christmas Spectacle
Christmas at Kew
16th November to 8th January 2023
This popular after-dark Christmas spectacle features an illuminated trail through London’s famous Botanic Gardens: tunnels of light and impressive projections.
Covent Garden Christmas Village: Shop and Stay in Style
Take in Covent Garden’s White Christmas experience (snowfall in front of the Piazza’s 60 foot Christmas tree) and enjoy exclusive offers and discounts from fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands in these historic surroundings. Afterwards it’s back to your hotel for authentic Italian food and a view of the Tower of London. A luxury one night stay for two in Tower Suites and 20% off Spa treatments.
Crystal Palace Lightopia
Crystal Palace Park SE19
17 November to 2 January 2023
Award winning Lightopia (light and lantern festival) returns with its immersive and illuminated installations. Last year there were giant musical walkways and some very pretty fish. Magical. Family friendly. Food stalls too. Overground railway.
Getaways in London
Christmas party time is back and Blue Orchid Hotels has the perfect festive plan. From Edwardian grandeur near Buckingham Palace to a 50 metre roof terrace overlooking the Tower of London. And there’s more.
Gracechurch Street EC3
Leadenhall Market is the perfect Christmas setting. Among the most picturesque of London covered markets, it was made famous by the Harry Potter films and can be found near The Monument and London Bridge. Famous for its shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Leicester Square Christmas Market
Leicester Square WC2
9 November to 7 January
Busy West End Christmas market. Also close to the Lego Store, Chinatown and Theatreland.
London Lights Switch On
From 2 November 2022
This famous extravaganza runs the length of Oxford Street, and takes in Regent Street and Bond Street, with a special mention for Carnaby. Don’t forget Covent Garden’s Christmas lights which always promises something special. In fact you could walk, shop and never stop goggling at the display. Last year all the lights were switched on at the same time, making it the biggest Christmas light–up in the world.
London Love Affair Christmas Market
Tower Hill EC3
19 November to 18 December
Fabulous location for a Christmas market, just by the Tower of London and other famous landmarks. London Love Affair’s Christmas market has been specially created to provide a satisfying blend of Christmas gifts and history in an idyllic setting.
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
The Queen’s Walk SE1
3 November to 8 January 2023
Street food, pop–up bars, lights, and stalls between the Southbank Centre and the London Eye. Outdoor Winter Light exhibition. Handy for Hayward Gallery and National Theatre.
Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree and Christmas Market
On the doorstep of the National Gallery and close to Theatreland and Houses of Parliament.
Blue Orchid Hotels is blessed with a wide range of event venues, whether you’re planning an office party, a reunion or a Winter wedding. The options take in modern technology with period features, luxury meeting rooms, conferences and drinks receptions. Elegant restaurants, classic bars and a professional events team from affordable luxury hotels London.
Winter Wonderland 2022
18 November to 2 January 2023
Thrilling fairground rides and circus shows, the largest outdoor ice skating rink in London, and charming Christmas markets. Family shows, too.
Hampton Court Palace
17 November to 8 January 2023
Ice Rink set against the palace’s spectacular Tudor facade. Lights up with colour as darkness falls. Cafe and bar too.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Ice Rink
18 November–2 January 2023
The biggest outdoor ice rink in the UK.
Skate at Somerset House
Strand, Covent Garden WC2
16 November to 15 January 2023
Always spectacular, and a Winter favourite. You can skate around the Neoclassical courtyard and afterwards enjoy a cocktail at the Moet and Chandon Skate Lounge. Skate is family friendly, too. Christmas shops, DJ, food, great Christmas Lights.
Queens House Ice Rink
17 November to 8 January 2023
Set in a UNESCO world heritage site. Iconic architecture next to the Thames.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf
October 22 until end of February 2023
Flanked by some of London’s tallest skyscrapers, the rink stays open until the end of February. Once the session has ended, head to the rink–side bar for a drink or checkout the restaurants and bars nearby.
Skylight Ice Rink
Rooftop ice rink on Tobacco Dock providing sweeping views of the Thames. Bar and rooftop igloos too
A Grand Day Out
The Great Christmas Pudding Race
10 December 11am
Charity fun run in Covent Garden. Fancy dress and relay race (with obstacles) while trying to keep a Xmas pudding in one piece. Santa, reindeer and Jedi have all taken part in the past.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
5k or 10k Santa Run
Flat, fast course for runners aged 15 and over. Register here.
Peter Pan Cup
Watch swimmers brave the icy waters of Hyde Park’s Serpentine to compete in the Peter Pan Cup. 100 yard course, Xmas Day race since 1864.
Hogwarts in the Snow/The Making of Harry Potter
Warner Bros Studios Tour
Until 15 January 2023
Harry Potter devotees can see a whole range props and film sets here. Travel to Warner Bros Watford is remarkably convenient thanks to the Shuttlebus from London’s Victoria Station. Blue Orchid’s Wellington Hotel London is near Victoria station, within easy walking distance. Also convenient for Buckingham Palace, St James’s Park, West End Theatres and the Museums of South Kensington.
The Gunpowder Plot
The Tower Vaults
(next to the Tower of London)
The famous plot to blow up Parliament reimagined: an elaborate immersive experience, taking you back to 1605, with a virtual Tom Felton starring as Guy Fawkes. Tickets available. Described as “fun, dramatic and exciting…” Get a feel for the experience here.
Sculpture in the City
Across the City of London
Until April 2023
Outdoor artworks for the 11th year running. Sculpture in the City is a popular public art show, where contemporary sculpture can be discovered alongside iconic buildings like the Gherkin and Lloyd’s.
Children’s Visitor Trail
Discover the Square Mile and follow one of three Children’s City Trails: “City Stories”, “Towers on the Thames” and “Skyscrapers”. Free trail map with stickers and activities available from City Information Centre opposite St Paul’s Cathedral. See link.
A 90 minute self-guided tour of the Square Mile. Seek out the culture, history and heritage of the City of London.
10 Centuries in 1 Day
Self-guided walk, with downloadable map outlining 1000 years of City of London history. The famous Tower of London has pretty much witnessed all 10 centuries, so why not look for a hotel near Tower Bridge London UK?
2:22 A Ghost Story
Booking to: 8 Jan 2023
Fourth incarnation for this highly successful chiller. Ages 14+ (theatre entrance faces Eros fountain).
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Shaftesbury Avenue W1
Booking to: 30 July 2023
The movie actors have grown up, some have even left us for good, but the magic persists.
Horrible Histories Live
Onboard! Terrible Thames
Tower Bridge Quay
Booking to: 1 Jan 2023
Horrible histories and its wicked river tour. Climb aboard.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Gillian Lynne Theatre
166 Drury Lane WC2B 5PW
Until 8 January 2023
One of the UK’s favourite stories returns: for ages 6 and up.
My Neighbour Totoro
Silk Street EC2
Oct 8 to Jan 21 2023
The magic of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli transfers to the Barbican stage courtesy of the RSC. The music, the enduring appeal of the creatures including Totoro, protector of the forest. Puppets and actors.
The Wind in the Willows Wilton’s
Wilton’s Music Hall
Grace’s Alley E1
24 November to 31 December
Wilton’s Music Hall presents a magical new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s much loved Wind in the Willows, from award–winning children’s author Piers Torday. Wilton’s is near Tower Hill Tube or Fenchurch St. Station. Ages 5+
Follow this link to the website booking page and use the discount code: BLUE15
The Woman in Black
Russell Street, WC2B 5HH
Until 29 April 2023
Susan Hill’s chilling tale of Eel Marsh House and the shadows the past. An audience of seven million have been scared by it so far.
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